Jim Kaat perhaps missing his last chance to broadcast a game? Yawn.
Sox’ lights-out closer expects a major role change? Now we’re talking.
We’ll stoke that fire; here’s Cliff Corcoran’s take on Bronx Banter:
“…Can the Sox really expect to compete next year without moving Papelbon to the rotation? Schilling and Wakefield will be another year older. Wells is gone. Clement and Beckett will be no more reliable. Lester has cancer. The market is thin, as is the Sox farm system, particularly with Anibal Sanchez throwing no-hitters in teal and black. Nate Silver has reason to believe that Papelbon is actually best suited to the role he’s in, but the Red Sox may have no other choice. As the Yankees continue to improve from within, the 11 1/2 games that separate these two teams coming into this weekend looks an awful lot like a harbinger of things to come.”
Ouch. Pretty harsh. Might be getting a little ahead of ourselves on the doom forecasting, though. Wasn’t long ago that the poles were reversed.
Paps in the rotation is well and good, but who’s closing games?
Cliff Corcoran apparently thinks the calendar works differently for that youthful Yankees’ pitching staff.
I guess the implication is that Yanks will have Wang, Hughes, Clippard, etc.
Thin Sox system? Bucholz, Bowden, and Cabrera are all very highly-regarded pitching prospects. All three could be making noise next September or at least in Spring Training ’08. None will contribute next year, I’ll grant you, but we’re thin at AAA, not AA and A.
As far as closing games goes, Red Sox FO will just have to sign or trade for somebody. The Brewers would seem unlikely to keep Francisco Cordero ($5M team option), at least at that price anyway. He’s not an exciting shut-down closer like a Joe Nathan or a Mariano Rivera or a K-Rod, but aside from earlier this season in Texas he’s been solid.
And it’s a nit, but Corcoran with the “no-hitters” jab in the plural, even mentioning Anibal Sanchez (while neglecting to mention that at the beginning of the season he was behind Lester, Papelbon, and Hansen on the Sox pitching prospects depth list), was petty at best. Your 4th best (but still well-regarded) pitching prospect, is there for trade bait if the first three end up as good as advertised. It didn’t work out, and we’ve discussed that point ad nauseum. But it wasn’t like we were dealing the one good prospect we had at the time.
Btw, I mentioned Cordero, but he’s one of many unexciting options out there. Don’t mean to slight any of those quasi-closers by just mentioning him.
Quo: it’s called schadenfreude…allow us YFs to induldge a little bit :)
*excluding Jon Lester’s situation, obviously.
Indulge all you want. That’s fine. Do I want Anibal back at this point, knowing what I know about him NOW and what I know about Beckett NOW? Yeah. I also agreed with the trade then. Nothing wrong with YFs enjoying a no-hitter pitched by a player in a different league than their team is. But ACCEPT and REALIZE all the facts of the case. I would, of course, be doing exactly the same thing had Gillick gone above and beyond his marching orders (salary dump), acquired Hughes, and him having pitched a no-hitter this year. :)
Indeed. Incidentally, Clippard (not an uber prospect like Hughes but pretty good) pitched a no-hitter for Trenton earlier this season :)
I must say I’m disapponted–I thought Corcoran was above that kind of blatantly biased “analysis.” That’s the kind of stuff I expect from the likes of Steve Phillips. Cliff could very well be right, of course, but that paragraph doesn’t even entertain the possibility that Sox pitching could be better next year:
Schilling: So what if he’s old? He’s still a pretty good pitcher, even if he isn’t “dominant” anymore. I’d take him over Randy Johnson any day at this stage.
Wakefield: Knuckleball pitchers don’t age the same way as other pitchers. Wake could still be a good pitcher when he’s 50 if he stays healthy. Seeing as the rib injury was freakish in nature and that he’s otherwise been extremely durable over the years, I wouldn’t dismiss him just because he’ll be a year older. I’m convinced that Wakefield’s injury had the biggest impact on the Sox this year, at least until Manny got hurt.
Clement: The largest X factor of the lot in my mind. There were some reports that his arm had been bothering him much of the season before he actually hit the DL, which would explain the drop in his velocity. He may or may not be traded during the offseason…tough to tell. If at full strength, he may prove effective yet. (It’d be hard for him to be any worse than he was this year, anyway.)
Beckett: Was he a disappointment this year? Yes. Is he an outright bust? Not by any rational stretch of the imagination. Finally seems capable of staying off the DL for a full season, which is important in itself. I’ve posted some of his splits elsewhere on this site, and my own fan bias aside, I’d wager there’s a 99% chance he improves at least *somewhat* next year.
Papelbon: Would he have a sub-one ERA as a starter? Of course not. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if he wound up with closer to a 4.50 ERA during a full year in the rotation. But I’d rather have 180 innings of decent pitching than 80 innings of elite pitching, especially with what happened this year. And Pap will cost a lot less than a mid-grade FA starter like Ted Lilly or Vicente Padilla. The money saved could go towards finding some real bullpen help.
Casually throwing Lester’s health status into that paragraph also strikes me as utterly tasteless. Trying to rub salt into the wound with Sanchez’s success is one thing, but what happened to Lester was both unpredictable and tragic, and goes way beyond baseball. I expect better than that kind of crassness from the likes of Bronx Banter.
Ah, I feel much better now. :)
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